a new birth of reason remembered, the dancing couple by steen, abusive partners can sabotage contraception

An new article on a American statesman and free thinker who has almost been forgotten, A New Birth of Reason

Ingersoll emerged as the leading figure in what historians of American secularism consider the golden age of freethought—an era when immigration, industrialization, and science, especially Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of natural selection, were challenging both religious orthodoxy and the supposedly simpler values of the nation’s rural Anglo-Saxon past. That things were never really so simple was the message Ingersoll repeatedly conveyed as he spoke before more of his countrymen than even elected public leaders, including presidents, did at a time when lectures were both a form of mass entertainment and a vital source of information.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

Ingersoll was something of an oratory rock-star in his day commanding a dollar a ticket to his sold out lectures. According to one on-line calculator that would be about $15 a ticket in today’s dollars. This is from an essay by Ingersoll, Art And Morality by Robert G. Ingersoll. North American Review, March. 1888.

Actions are deemed right or wrong, according to experience and the conclusions of reason. Things are beautiful by the relation that certain forms, colors, and modes of expression bear to us. At the foundation of the beautiful will be found the fact of happiness, the gratification of the senses, the delight of intellectual discovery and the surprise and thrill of appreciation. That which we call the beautiful, wakens into life through the association of ideas, of memories, of experiences, of suggestions of pleasure past and the perception that the prophecies of the ideal have been and will be fulfilled.

Art cultivates and kindles the imagination, and quickens the conscience. It is by imagination that we put ourselves in the place of another. When the whigs of that faculty are folded, the master does not put himself in the place of the slave; the tyrant is not locked in the dungeon, chained with his victim. The inquisitor did not feel the flames that devoured the martyr. The imaginative man, giving to the beggar, gives to himself. Those who feel indignant at the perpetration of wrong, feel for the instant that they are the victims; and when they attack the aggressor they feel that they are defending themselves. Love and pity are the children of the imagination.

   The Dancing Couple,  Jan Steen, 1663. Oil on canvas

The Dancing Couple,  Jan Steen, 1663. Oil on canvas. ” Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13


Why can’t people stop acting like jackasses, Abusive partners can sabotage contraception

When a husband hides a wife’s birth control pills or a boyfriend takes off a condom in the middle of sex in hopes of getting an unwilling girlfriend pregnant, that’s a form of abuse called reproductive coercion.

While researchers don’t know exactly how common such coercion is, it’s common enough – especially among women who are abused by their partners in other ways – that health care providers should screen women for signs at regular check-ups and pregnancy visits, says the nation’s leading group of obstetricians and gynecologists.

“We want to make sure that health care providers are aware that this is something that does go on and that it’s a form of abuse,” says Veronica Gillispie, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, and a member of the committee that wrote the opinion for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It’s published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, out today.

Reproductive coercion occurs whenever a partner tries to prevent a woman from making her own choices about pregnancy, Gillispie says. That includes trying to get a woman pregnant against her will, through forced sex or other means; it also includes using pressure or threats to get a woman to continue an unwanted pregnancy or end a wanted one.

In studies cited by the committee, “birth control sabotage” was reported by 25% of teen girls with abusive partners and by 15% of women who were physically abused. Some men go as far as to pull out a woman’s intrauterine device (IUD) or vaginal contraceptive ring, the committee says.


the lofty professions, the robots cometh

Aspen Magazine was published irregularly from 1965 to 1971 by Phyllis Johnson. Only it was not a magazine the way one usually thinks of them. It was supposed to be a work of art unto itself. It came in a box that including various media including photographs, film and recorded music. This is from actress Eva Marie Saint commenting in an issue on the film industry, Feeling Guilty at Times…

…I was interested in the point made about feeling guilty at times, that our profession is not perhaps as lofty as the of physicians, writers, or painters, and guess I feel a little of that. Once when went East, I had a most unusual experience in meeting one of my favorite painters, Mr. Andrew Wyeth. We both have a mutual friend in Westchester, Pennsylvania, who felt that we should meet. I found myself saying, “Oh, he wouldn’t know me. I’ve read about him and I know he is a very serious-minded painter and family man. I know he is more or less a recluse, and I can’t somehow imagine him watching movies.” But she called him and it turned out that he does go to the movies. He had seen every movie that I had ever made. So, when we met, it was very difficult for me to discuss the paintings with him which I wanted to discuss, because he wanted to discuss specific scenes from the movies with me.

As I left Westchester and headed back to Hollywood, I felt a little taller about being in Hollywood and making motion pictures.

Eva Marie Saint, Actress

Eva Marie Saint, Actress

I added the Andrew Wyeth link. I would post some of his work, but it is all still copyrighted. His paintings and prints of them are still very popular.

Robot Makers Spread Global Gospel of Automation

To buttress its claim that automation is not a job killer but instead a way for the United States to compete against increasingly advanced foreign competitors, the industry group reported findings on Tuesday that it said it would publish in February. The federation said the industry would directly and indirectly create from 1.9 million to 3.5 million jobs globally by 2020.

The federation held a news media event at which two chief executives of small American manufacturers described how they had been able to both increase employment and compete against foreign companies by relying heavily on automation and robots.

“Automation has allowed us to compete on a global basis. It has absolutely created jobs in southwest Michigan,” said Matt Tyler, chief executive of Vickers Engineering, an auto parts supplier. “Had it not been for automation, we would not have beat our Japanese competitor; we would not have beat our Chinese competitor; we would not have beat our Mexican competitor. It’s a fact.”

I guess we’ll all see how the predictions of net job increases work out. Most of us being worker ants we don’t get as much say in how the any colony is run as the ruling ants with money and lobbyists. If those high skill higher paying jobs do come to pass that requires a work force with more technical training. Since that kind of education – even a two year degree – is becoming more and more expensive, plus requires time to attend and study – lots of challenges as to how people are going to get those jobs.

From the final scene in Killing Them Softly (2012) . Mr. Driver is a boss with organized crime and Jackie is a contract killer/enforcer.

Barack Obama (on TV): …to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one…
Driver: You hear that line? Line’s for you.
Jackie Cogan: Don’t make me laugh. One people. It’s a myth created by Thomas Jefferson.
Driver: Oh, so now you’re going to have a go at Jefferson, huh?
Jackie Cogan: My friend, Thomas Jefferson is an American saint because he wrote the words ‘All men are created equal’, words he clearly didn’t believe since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He’s a rich white snob who’s sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So, yeah, he writes some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went and died for those words while he sat back and drank his wine and fucked his slave girl. This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community? Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business. Now fuckin’ pay me.


blue rain storm wallpaper

blue rain storm wallpaper